Phononic crowd-funds Peltier-based Hex heatsink

August 24, 2015 // 12:07 p.m.

Tags: #cooling #cpu-cooler #crowd-funding #fan #flexible-funding #fridge #heatsink #hex #hex-10 #indiegogo #peltier #phononic #phononic-hex #thermoelectric

A start-up company originally building medical fridges has pivoted into the enthusiast computing market, and is seeking funds to build a new CPU cooler with integrated Peltier thermoelectric heat-pump: the Hex 1.0.

While Phononic has yet to launch the first in its family of intelligent fridges for the medical community, the company is already looking to diversify. Its latest creation is the Phononic Hex 1.0, which borrows the SilverCore thermoelectric cooling technology used to build the company's fridges and shrinks it down to a size suitable for use in computers - or, as the company puts it, 'a silent refrigerator for your CPU.'

Marketing fluff aside, the company's claims are simple: a tower-style heatsink with integrated fan which, under low thermal loads, works as any other. Increase the thermal load, however, and a Peltier-style thermoelectric heat pump - a solid-state device which, when supplied with current, creates a 'hot' side and a 'cold' side - kicks in to transfer heat more efficiently, using what the company calls Variable Assist Cooling (VAC.)

'At the heart of every computer is a CPU whose performance is dictated by the chip design, the clock speed and processor cache. As users push the limits of their high-performance systems, they create thermal loads that require a reliable CPU cooling solution to deliver the necessary performance,' explained Michael Bruno, vice president and general manager of Phononic's newly-formed electronics cooling business. 'With the innovative use of our proprietary SilverCore solid-state technology, we're disrupting the high-performance CPU cooling market by offering a solution that will not only meet performance needs but provide an option for safer, smaller, more durable processor cooling.'

The company claims that the compact heatsink and its integrated 80mm fan have been tested to thermal loads of up to 175W and convincingly outperform conventional heatsinks and even sealed-loop all-in-one liquid coolers, but there are a few red flags for those interested in participating in the company's crowd-funding campaign. Chief among these is that the company appears to have yet to release a product, opening pre-orders for its medical refrigeration products even as it crowd-funds for the CPU cooler. Another warning sign is the company's use of Indiegogo's notorious 'flexible funding' system, frequently abused by scammers, which allows a campaign to receive funds from backers even if its target goal is not reached.

More information on the project is available from its Indiegogo page, while the video embedded below suggests that the company has at least one functional prototype to its name.


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